Nov 4, 2020
The majority of us have been working from home since mid-March. Although numerous companies are beginning to rotate their employees back into the office, there are a still a significant number of employees who are still at home. Numerous studies have shown that although people like working from home for the convenience and flexibility, the majority of employees miss the sense of community that they feel at the office. Work relationships are important for attitude, morale, and quality of work. As an employer, it is your job to continue to help employees feel connected and part of the bigger picture, even if they are not present in the office.
Here are 4 tips for employers to engage your employees in a friendly and meaningful way!
Mentor Programs - This will be very important for employees who may have 1 year or less at the company. The sudden isolation from veteran employees have made their transition to the “work family” difficult. Create mentoring programs to help new team-members feel connected! Provide a trusted person to discuss work, goals, questions, concerns, etc with as the company continues to adjust and adapt!
Assign a mentor to each younger employee, or small group of employees to help with engagement and inclusion
This can be a manger, supervisor, or veteran peer - the goal is to create a relationship that didn’t already exist, or strengthen one that was already there!
All communication to your employees needs to be effective - Because you are not there giving instructions and updates, you need to make sure you are still reaching your audience effectively and efficiently. Customizing communication will ensure the message is reaching the intended audience in the most effective way!
Remember generational gaps/differences in communication among your employees - younger employees will not receive information the same way that your older employees will!
Email blasts work well for baby boomers, but Gen X and Millennials will like texts or social media updates better to relay important information - try to include both forms of communication to make everyone feel included, and ensure the information is received.
Remember to build communities - Community is important in the work place for morale and work ethic. Although a coworker may not become someone’s closest friend, there is still an undeniable bond that develops when working next to someone 5 days a week. If you haven’t done any of these things already, try starting something new to revamp everyone’s outlook on working from home for the rest of the summer!
Employee resource groups - Open the floor up to create virtual chats or Facebook groups to share ideas or help on a daily basis. You can also have the manager of each team start a chat daily so that employees can still talk to each other throughout the day.
In work resource groups - You may also call these “project groups”. Allow people from different departments connect on a common goal that everyone is working towards. Projects may rely on resources from across departments, so allow everyone to see what’s being worked on. Allowing employees to see the greater goal and understand how their part fits in will bring everyone together despite working from different locations.
Shared interest groups - create a place to share hobbies, interests, quarantine projects, etc. This is a way to discuss out of work life with other employees to help continue to build friendships and trust. These groups can be more casual, and are encouraged to not be for discussing work. Instead, include people across departments together who enjoy doing the same things, who can talk socially about how they’ve been spending the last few months.
Encourage employees to share what they’re doing at home - send congratulations and kuddos messages out regularly to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Think of these messages as “There’s cake in the break room” - an easy way to celebrate someone even if you cannot be together.
Maintain a team-focused culture even if you are not centrally located - Remind everyone they are part of a bigger picture! Share milestones for the company that may have occurred over the last 4 months, share pictures of years gone by, etc. Essentially, keep everyone focused on the team and company!
Will 2021 still be a remote working environment? Have a plan in place for communication. NISA can help with your networking and getting answers to your questions from other staffing agencies. Members, let your membership pay for you! Increase your bottom lie with NISA.
The above tips keeps teams and employees engaged. We continue to push forward in these virtual times!